removing 'distant sound' from vox recording

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by Rob de Boer, Jul 31, 2003.

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  1. Rob de Boer

    Rob de Boer Guest

    I am currently mixing a number of tracks for an amateur production. One of these tracks involves a vox recording through a stereo mic. Because there are about 6 people singing, but not simultaneously, and there was not much studio time, the recording engineer (not me) decided to choose this option. However, I found out when starting to mix this song that the vocals are very much 'colored' by the recording room, probably because they were not standing very close to the mic. They sound really distant, and lack low end and clarity. It is a really ugly sound. I've tried to patch it up somewhat by eq-ing +3@200 Hz, and +3@5KHz, but (of course) the distant sound remains.

    I know that this is a problem that cannot be adequately solved, but if anyone has any useful hints or tips, feel free to share.

    BTW: Re-recording is not an option, no more money for that.

    Thanks, Rob
  2. try compressing with a very slow release - if you time it right you may be able to lose a bit of the reverb. Might help a bit.
  3. tmix

    tmix Guest

    I've done it to varying degrees of succes.
    The small (or large ) room slapback sound is there for good. I never could adequately get rid of it. but some of the ambient sound I could either gate or my best success was using a noise reduction program where I noise printed the ambient sound and stripped it from the track which dried it up pretty good. Added a few artifacts though.
  4. Rob de Boer

    Rob de Boer Guest

    Thanks Giles, thanks Tom,

    Interesting tips, I'll go and experiment with both your suggestions.

    Tom: how does one go about making a noise print and removing that from the track? I know I have the denoiser plugin available in Wavelab 4.0, which I bought for mastering, but I have not used it yet... Still strung up in the mixing phase... Do you happen to know if this will to the trick for me? Or do I need to buy a different plugin? (I hope not, I just emptied my pockets on WL)

    Anyway, thanks so far, right now I have something to work on tonight.

  5. tmix

    tmix Guest

    I use the denoiseing program in Samplitude. It probably works the same way as in WaveLab, but I have not tried Wavlab before.
    With Samplitude, you highlight a section of the track that has the noise on it you want to destroy, such as at the beginning of a track before you start singing.You activate the "get noise sample" feature to which it analyses the content of that clip, inverts the phase of it, then allows you to add that inverted sample back into the track to effectively cancel the offending noise. Samp has many option on how much you can add back, you add to taste until you start hearing artifacts and then back off.
  6. tripnek

    tripnek Active Member

    Jun 9, 2003
    I'd say a gate/expander and a lot of experimnetation time would be your best bet.
  7. Screws

    Screws Active Member

    Feb 16, 2001
    Home Page:
    If you can rent or borrow an SPL Transient designer you might try it for this. If you're not familiar with the unit, it has two controls per channel called "Attack" and "Sustain". Either control has positive or negative ranges, so you can add or subtract attack or sustain.

    Most useful with percussive sounds, but I've used it to dry up reverb successfully also.

    Check the link below for more info.

  8. Rob de Boer

    Rob de Boer Guest

    Over the weekend I did some experimenting with your suggestions, and I can say that I do have a better voice track than before. Basically I applied all your suggestions. Although the 'character' of the track is still more or less the same, the tricks I applied have reduced it.

    Thanks a lot.


    (and next time, I'll make sure to sit in on the recording session...)
  9. Rob de Boer

    Rob de Boer Guest

    PS. Screws, thanks for the suggestion, but there was no SPL transient designer anywhere near my DAW. Seems to be an interesting piece of equipment though...
  10. Matt Watkins

    Matt Watkins Guest

    Hi Rob

    Just a thought,

    Were the singers gathered around the stereo mic?

    If so maybe it's worth comparing the left and right mic track seperatley to see if one mic input sounds "tighter" than the other if so dump the other channel for that vocal and pan the now mono (dryer?) vocal to the appropriate spot in the stereo image. You could do this for every vocal part.

  11. Exmun

    Exmun Guest

    I hate to rain on the parade, but I'd say record it again, this time the way it should have been done. I know it isn't what you want to hear, but in my experience there's nothing worse that spending time spinning your wheels on something where it would take much less effort and tears to just do it over. Either way, I hope it all works out for you. :tu:
  12. tomcolliva

    tomcolliva Guest

    I definetly vote for the SPL transient designer, I'd use the hardwareversion but Pulsar/Creamware did a software version... try it if you can, nothing (expanding / compressing ...) works better than it for drying wet signal. I guess to also try to vary the Stereo width of the signal with some spectralizer such as waves S1

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